BATTLE GROUND — On Feb. 24, staff and parents of students at Battle Ground High School received an email from Principal Mike Hamilton letting them know that long-time Automotive Technology teacher Ed Heim had passed away suddenly the day before on Feb. 23.
Heim was 67 and passed away from a brain aneurysm.
“I am writing with great sadness to let you know that one of our staff members, Automotive Technology teach Ed Heim, passed away Thursday,” Hamilton wrote in the email to parents and staff. “Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family, students and friends. Whenever we experience a loss, we want to make sure that our students, families and staff have the support they need.”
A special cruise-in and memorial service will be held for Heim on Sat., March 11, at Battle Ground High School, 300 W. Main St., in Battle Ground. The cruise-in will be held at 1 p.m., family and friends invite local car enthusiasts to bring their cars to the Battle Ground High School parking lot at the main entrance for one final display in Heim’s honor. The memorial service will then be held at 2 p.m. at the high school auditorium.
According to a gofundme page set up on behalf of Heim’s family, Edward J. Heim was born May 29, 1949, in Portland, Ore., to Jay and Dorothy (Woody) Heim. He was a 1967 graduate of Oregon City High School and served during the Vietnam War as an Army Ranger in the 101st Airborne Division from 1969-1971.
Heim was married to the love of his life, Carol Weicker, on July 14, 1973. The two shared 44 years of marriage, three children and four grandchildren. Ed and Carol enjoyed riding and caring for their horses, camping, the outdoors, and spending time with their children and grandchildren.
Throughout his life, Heim had an evolving passion for the automotive industry, and has always enjoyed fast cars and big engines. One of the greatest joys of his life was teaching others about the automotive industry, and during his lifetime Heim taught automotive classes at both collegiate and high school levels. He worked for the Battle Ground School District for more than 15 years, and as the automotive teacher at Battle Ground High School, Heim enjoyed educating young adults about the automotive industry.
Heim was always impressed with the students’ continually growing knowledge of the automotive field and the passions in the young adults that were forming under his instruction. He was their teacher, mentor and formed friendships with many that lasted throughout the years. He always made himself available for questions and advice on or off campus.
Heim actually co-authored an automotive textbook that was not only used in his classroom, but in numerous automotive classrooms across the country.
Heim is survived by his loving wife, Carol; three children, Brian (Jamie) Heim of College Place, Wash., Annah (Andrew) Morgan of Durango, Colo., and Katelyn (James) Hansen of Battle Ground; four grandchildren, Naomi and Maxton Heim, and Madison and Tobias Hansen; along with many other family members and friends.
A Facebook page titled “Remembering Ed Heim” was created in order to allow former students, friends and community members to share their thoughts and memories of Heim. Numerous people have posted on the page and have shared their memories and kind words about Heim.
Amanda Young wrote, “Ed always made me feel like one of his own. BGHS was lucky to have him as teacher. I was lucky to have him as a softball coach and a kind of second dad. My heart goes out to you, Carol, Annah, Brian and Jamie, Kate, and the rest of the family.”
Derek Rider, a former student of Heim’s, shared a special memory on the Facebook page of an award that Heim gave to him after the senior awards assembly one year.
“Ed was more than a teacher to me in highschool. And I feel obligated to share this with everyone,” Rider wrote. “At the end of senior year, after our senior assembly (when students are given awards for the academics, and achievement awards) I was kind of bummed that I did not receive an award for being in his automotive class. But after the assembly, we all went back to class, and Ed pulled me aside and said, ‘I have something for you.’ He pulled out a framed piece of paper from his desk that was in the same design as the other awards that were handed out during the assembly. On that piece of paper it said, ‘best smile awarded to’ with my name under it.”
“With a puzzled look on my face, I asked, ‘what’s this for?’ And he said, ‘it’s not an award that I can give out during the assembly, but it’s the award I want to give to you.’ And I replied, ‘but why me?’ And he quickly responded, ‘because regardless of what mood I’m in, whether I’m pissed off from dealing with kids, or from just not feeling good, to being happy go-jolly, you always find a way to put a smile on my face. And you’re always so smiley, and I enjoy seeing you smile. It’s contagious. And to me, that’s worth giving an award for.’ That meant the world to me hearing him say that. I mean who usually connects with a teacher like that? It just goes to show how Ed was as not only a teacher, but as a person.”
A fellow Battle Ground High School employee, Saya Benitez, also shared her memories on the Facebook page of working with Heim.
“I worked at Battle Ground High for six years,” Benitez wrote. “In my time there I never paid for an oil change because he took care of it. When my vehicles broke down he would fix it and tell me I’d only have to pay for parts. However, he always ‘forgot’ to tell me how much that was and did not collect payment. He knew I was struggling financially and he took care of me. He had a sweet and compassionate heart. I stopped into see him about six weeks ago because I wanted to show him my new truck. I wanted him to see that I was ok. I’m so glad I was able to visit with him, give him a hug, and say thank you! Prayers to his family. Love you Ed and I’ll always remember you and your kindness to me.”
To read more memories of Heim from his former students, friends, family and community members, visit the “Remembering Ed Heim” Facebook page. A gofundme page has also been created to help the family pay for expenses, donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/remembering-ed-heim.